By 2004, Will Smith was at the top of his game. After a slew of hit movies and a celebrated TV show in the ’90s, Will was entering the new millennium with more critical and box office success thanks to movies like Ali, Bad Boys 2 and I, Robot.
However, what some people might not know is that Will was also sharpening his producing skills thanks to his production company Overbrook Entertainment with fellow producer James Lassiter. Along with producing such hits like Ali, I, Robot and Hitch, Overbrook also took on smaller projects, including one that’s become a cult classic in LGBTQ+ cinema.
In 2004 the flick Saving Face was released, and it tells the story of an Asian American lesbian from Queens who falls in love with her boss’ daughter. Meanwhile, her mom moves in with her after being shunned by her grandfather for getting pregnant out of wedlock. The romantic comedy tackles themes of coming out, being honest about who you love and the cultural tensions within the Asian American community.
While the movie received a lot of critical success, it wasn’t necessarily a box office smash, so it might’ve flew under the radar for some. But over time, it’s gained quite the cult following with many cherishing it as a great addition to LGBTQ+ cinema.
Who would’ve thought Will Smith would play such an important role in not just queer representation, but Asian American representation. He’s listed as a producer on the flick along with James Lassiter, while Alice Wu is the writer and director of the movie.
With such a fresh voice, you’d think Wu would have a substantial body of work after 2004 but unfortunately, her next writer-director project wouldn’t come until recently. She’s currently helming a feature film called The Half Of It headed for Netflix in the near future. It’s a shame it took this long.
But until her next project is released, you can watch Saving Face on YouTube, Amazon Prime, Vudu, iTunes and Google Play. Surely Alice (and Will Smith) will appreciate it.